International urban environmental accord signed in Iloilo
ILOILO CITY – An agreement that would strengthen environmental policies of heads of major urban centers worldwide was signed at the end of the two-day Urban Environmental Accord (UEA) Summit held here which ended yesterday.
Arjunn Calvo, Acting Chief of the Planning and Programming division of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-attached agency, Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in Western Visayas, said mayors of over 50 cities from various countries overseas signed the UEA-Iloilo City Declaration that addressed major areas of urban environment concerns.
These concerns included urban air quality management, urban water management, private sector engagement in urban development, women and youth for community climate action, and low carbon emission development.
The Iloilo City government’s Chief Environmental Officer, Engineer Noel Hechanova presented during the summit some best practices on low carbon development initiatives.
Such practices include the implementation of initiatives by the city government like the granting of a 20 percent discount on real property tax of homeowners using alternative energy, replacement of city street lights with lower wattage light emitting diode (LED) light bulbs, monitoring of greenhouse gas inventory and of carbon accounting at selected mangrove sites, and the launching of a solar-powered tourist boat cruising on Iloilo River.
With more than 500 participants, the UEA Summit held in the city also became a venue for discussions on disaster risk reduction with storms and earthquakes frequently affecting millions of the populace in the world’s major urban centers.